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Harvey Dent, eat your heart out.
April 18, 2008 7:25 PM   Subscribe


 
Cool. Hope this kid is able to survive and prosper.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:35 PM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yow. How do you fit that through the birth canal?
posted by marble at 7:37 PM on April 18, 2008


I understand the baby's reception completely. As an atheist, this has also helped reaffirm my belief.
posted by Mitrovarr at 7:38 PM on April 18, 2008


I understand the baby's reception completely. As an agnostic, this has also helped reaffirm my indecision.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:40 PM on April 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


For all their words, the parents look very worried in the photos.
posted by Anything at 7:43 PM on April 18, 2008


How adorable! I could just pinch her cheeks!

Uh, could anyone lend me a hand?
posted by sourwookie at 7:44 PM on April 18, 2008


But which Hindu goddess?
posted by trip and a half at 7:54 PM on April 18, 2008


Is it me or there is lately a LOT of news like this from India?
posted by zouhair at 7:57 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ignorant question: Is this a conjoined/siamese twin (essentially 2 distinguishable people) or is this one individual with a birth defect? Also what is the likelihood of survival?
posted by jlowen at 7:59 PM on April 18, 2008


That's incredible. I've heard of babies born with two heads, but never two faces on the same head. I hope she survives!
posted by Planet F at 8:02 PM on April 18, 2008


I would assume it's conjoined twins... right?
posted by mikeweeney at 8:05 PM on April 18, 2008


Here's another article. I was wondering whether she had two sets of brains as well, but I suppose the simultaneous blinking suggests otherwise, at least for some of the facial motor areas:
"She drinks milk from her two mouths and opens and shuts all the four eyes at one time," the director of Saifi Hospital, Sabir Ali, said
posted by Anything at 8:06 PM on April 18, 2008


I love that dimple!

I've heard that she's just one baby with two faces, not veryvery conjoined twins, but I don't have a source for this. Anyone?
posted by bettafish at 8:07 PM on April 18, 2008


Ah, the joys of consanguineous marriage.
posted by gregor-e at 8:08 PM on April 18, 2008


She is going to need untold amounts of love and kindness.
posted by Dizzy at 8:10 PM on April 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


Fighting the urge to make tasteless jokes, mostly because of that big, adorable dimple.

Still, wish there was an xray of this kid's insides. That's gotta be one freaky looking skull.
posted by ColdChef at 8:22 PM on April 18, 2008


But which Hindu goddess?

durga, or ganesh or as another site claimed, shakti, which is probably uninformed - actually, the media just run the damn pictures and make up any story they like, as far as i can tell

maybe it's janus with a sex change
posted by pyramid termite at 8:26 PM on April 18, 2008


I can actually feel her image scrambling my facial recognition software. It's like a neuro-hack. That's part of the discomfort.

May she have peace.
posted by digaman at 8:28 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


As an atheist, this has also helped reaffirm my belief...

Aha! I knew it! Atheism is a BELIEF.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:29 PM on April 18, 2008 [3 favorites]




Lil'Bit was born with four eyes, but two merged into eachother

Well, pyramid termite, you can just come right over and rock me to sleep.
posted by ColdChef at 8:31 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I saw somewhere on line where yes, this was a birth defect and not a case of conjoined twinning. I can't recall where I saw it either but I did see it.
posted by konolia at 8:37 PM on April 18, 2008


Two faces? Did they name the kid Hillary?
posted by orthogonality at 8:38 PM on April 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


jlowen, I had read that Lali's condition is not the result of a cojoined sibling but due to craniofacial duplication. The Sonic Hedgehog homolog rears its ...err, head, again.
posted by jamaro at 8:40 PM on April 18, 2008


Who is Harvey Dent?
posted by LiveLurker at 8:40 PM on April 18, 2008


Well, pyramid termite, you can just come right over and rock me to sleep.

sweet dreams, cold chef

Innumerable lines of black bees then were generated and they joined themselves with those that got out of the DevĂ®'s hands and thus they covered the whole earth. Thus countless bees began to emit from all sides like locusts. The sky was overcast with the bees; and the earth was covered with darkness. The sky, mountain peaks, trees, forests all became filled with bees and the spectacle presented a grand dismal sight. Then the black bees began to tear asunder the breasts of the Daityas as the bees bite those who destroy their beehives. Thus the Daityas could not use their weapons nor could they fight nor exchange any words. Nothing they could do; they had no help but to die.
posted by pyramid termite at 8:42 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


The news.com.au article I linked above says that it's a case of craniofacial duplication, which Wikipedia says is a synonym for diprosopus, which is not a form of conjoined twinning, but rather a sort of botched widening of facial features.
Among other things, the SHH protein governs the width of facial features. In excess it leads to widening of facial features and to duplication of facial structures.[5] The greater the widening, the more of the structures are duplicated, often in a mirror image form.
Then again, one of the Wikipedia article's own sources says otherwise:
Diprosopus: Two-faced conjoined twins (incompletely separated identical twins)
I guess we can't say without that x-ray.
posted by Anything at 8:43 PM on April 18, 2008


LiveLurker, comic books are beneficial to your health.
posted by auralcoral at 8:44 PM on April 18, 2008


being worshipped as a goddess? awesome! i love their culture! in america, she would have been killed before she was even born. i hope she makes it a long way.

She is going to need untold amounts of love and kindness.

being worshipped as a goddess should help with that.
posted by mr_book at 8:45 PM on April 18, 2008


I really love India:

"When you see something unnatural, it can only be the miracle of God," says Jatinder Nagar, a neighbour who's taken on the self-appointed role of tour guide.

People here in America probably would have regarded her as a witch not so very long ago.
posted by misha at 8:46 PM on April 18, 2008


Who is Harvey Dent?

the real name of Two-Face.
posted by mr_book at 8:47 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apparently, this is happening about once a month now (baby in the linked article was born on March 17th in India and is also being revered as a god).
posted by mewithoutyou at 8:49 PM on April 18, 2008


Well, good luck to her. Some living goddesses are deigned so differently.

Birth defect or divine incarnation: in this case, with medical intervention so problematic, I would, as a total outsider, understand if she were to become an object of veneration. It would help her life out so much, given her family's circumstances, if she were to survive, perhaps with the prayers of millions, if you believe in that kind of thing.

And it is certainly no stranger than the Hebraic Red Cow Prophecy...
posted by kozad at 8:54 PM on April 18, 2008


being worshipped as a goddess? awesome! i love their culture! in america, she would have been killed before she was even born. i hope she makes it a long way.

Life as a mascot, wonderful.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:55 PM on April 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Goddess, witch, bitch....same as it ever was
posted by LiveLurker at 8:57 PM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


jlowen writes "Ignorant question: Is this a conjoined/siamese twin (essentially 2 distinguishable people) or is this one individual with a birth defect? "

Gotta be the latter. An egg cell has a protein gradient. As the fertilized egg divides into multiple cells, the daughter cells pull along the proteins. Each daughter cell of course has a complete copy of the DNA, but which DNA is expressed depends on the amount of the gradient protein(s), and on special genes (e.g., the "homeobox" genes) that are expressed depending on the gradient. This ultimately leads to the differentiation of organs and structures in the developing embryo, controlled by the original gradient or by other genes or chemical signals ultimately dependent (through a long causal chain) on that gradient.

Changing the expression of cells in a developing embryo (by altering the chemicals or proteins in particular cells) can lead to the development of the wrong structures or organs, by duplicating structures (or not duplicating where there should be duplication). Simple examples are creating legs where a fly's wing should be, or influencing the differential growth of fingers. (Check out the fins of lobed-finned fish, the paws of mammals, the hands of humans: it's always five digits, and in a "fractal"-ish pattern, but different species lengthen and thicken different digits differently.)

At some point in the development of the embryo, some cell(s) must have divided too often, or received the wrong chemical signals, either within the cells in questions, or from neighboring cells. So you have two "patches" of cells that each have the combination of chemical signals saying "you're a face". Locally these patches continue to divide, "telling" daughter cells "you're an eyes, you're a mouth, you're a facial nerve".
posted by orthogonality at 8:58 PM on April 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


People here in America probably would have regarded her as a witch not so very long ago.

no, she would have ended up on some icky inspirational installment of the ptl club with tammy faye cooing in her face and giving her allergies with all her make-up, which is no damn joke when you've got two faces

jim smiles and says, "the lord works in mysterious ways - think of how this sweet little angel has united people in love and charity

"there are millions of children like this in india who are being turned into targets of idolatry and being deprived of a normal life and the love of jeeeesus

"we need your help - we need you to send us your donations ..."
posted by pyramid termite at 9:04 PM on April 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Some people have twins and hear whining in stereo. Think of her as a boombox.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:11 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


being worshipped as a goddess should help with that.

Yeah, cause that worked out so well for Jesus.
posted by ODiV at 9:20 PM on April 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


Everyone comes to the Freakshow
To laugh at the freaks and the geeks
Everyone comes to the Freakshow
But no one laughs when they leave
posted by Nelson at 9:42 PM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's amazing she's lived so long and from what I've read with no medical intervention. Apparently the parents are totally overwhelmed and aren't letting their perform at MRI or anything on her, so they have no idea what's going on inside of her.

I wonder if these types of birth defects are becoming more common or if we just hear about them more now. I also have to wonder if the pollution in Asia and other countries is in anyway connected to these types of birth defects.
posted by whoaali at 10:09 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


How will she react when she hears her teacher say:

Everyone! Keep your eyes on your own paper!
posted by Rafaelloello at 10:21 PM on April 18, 2008


It's nice to see everyone being supportive of this child, because she is going to need it.

I find thinking about what her life is going to be like really thought provoking, if kind of grim. I don't mean at all to be judgmental or callous, but she is almost certainly going to live a life unlike anyone on the planet.

Think about it. Again, I don't mean to demean her, but she will likely never have children, and never have sex. She probably will never be able to hold a normal job, except perhaps one which keeps her well out of sight. She will not be able to socialize in any normal way. She will likely have serious health problems.

But for some reason her family decided to keep her alive. They will hopefully love her. Perhaps she will be a good person. Perhaps she will have deep friendships - maybe even deeper than many of us know. Maybe someone will find her who can love her intimately.

Or maybe she will really be worshiped as a god. Everywhere she walks, she will be treated with reverence. Not revered for power like the wealthy, but revered as something greater than human. As a mark of the divine.

Her life will be unlike anything most of us could imagine living.

Only because of a birth defect that caused her to be born with two faces.

I wish her the greatest happiness, for I imagine her life will be wrought with difficulty and alienation. But perhaps she will have greater luck at happiness than many of us do. Perhaps her defect is a blessing in disguise.
posted by Alex404 at 12:01 AM on April 19, 2008


Is it me or there is lately a LOT of news like this from India?

Might be all of the ridiculous levels of radiation in some parts from the underground testing they did, unaware in-breeding, or most obviously, statistical likelihood. India accounts for quite a huge chunk of the population (especially the new members of Earth).
posted by spiderskull at 2:20 AM on April 19, 2008


Alex404 - Regarding what is and isn't possible for "freaks": I saw a documentary years ago about two women who were joined at the head. One was a midget and was usually carried around by the other. If I remember correctly, at least one of them said that she was not a virgin, and one of them was pursuing a career as a country and western singer.

Cynics: I am not making this up.

I once lived in a town where there was a guy with half a face. I heard the other half was lost to a shotgun, though I don't know that for sure. It totally freaked me out the first time I saw him, but after a while you just get used to it. It's amazing what people can adapt to.
posted by arcadia at 3:30 AM on April 19, 2008


It's a congential disorder known as cranofacial duplication.

I would think that it's likelier to be industrial pollution than radiation that affects development. Poor little kid.
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:31 AM on April 19, 2008


Bhopal (Union Carbide) legacy?
posted by hojoki at 4:45 AM on April 19, 2008


arcadia? Here.
posted by b33j at 5:14 AM on April 19, 2008


Uh, given that Chang and Eng (the "original" Siamese twins) managed to completely integrate into their local American community despite decades on the worldwide sideshow circuit, getting married, having 10 and 11 children respectively, and - ack! - owning slaves, I really don't think the fact that Lali has two faces automatically precludes her from ever having a love life or holding a job.

Alex04, I know you mean well, but please realize that the, "Oh, the poor deformed person! How sad her life will be!" reaction is only a step up from the cries of "OMG FREAK!" There's a difference between an honest assessment of the challenges - an assessment that I doubt any of us are qualified to make, given that we're not her doctors, and judging by the comments so far, not doctors at all - and the automatic assumption that a condition precludes any part of a normal lifestyle.
posted by bettafish at 11:56 AM on April 19, 2008


we've talked about the hensel twins here before - they're American and doing ok so far.
posted by mdn at 2:56 PM on April 19, 2008


"Is it me or there is lately a LOT of news like this from India?"

Maybe. There's also a lot of news like this from China, too. Both India and China have enormous populations, which means that very rare things are more likely to happen there, and they are becoming more and more open to the news media, which means we are more likely to hear about them. I doubt whether severe abnormality is actually increasing in those places though.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:05 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sure, the girl is amazing, but dad's hair in that last photo is what's really tripping me out.
posted by Artaud at 9:34 PM on April 19, 2008


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